Last September I received an email with the subject GRANT NOTIFICATION in all caps. I nearly deleted it because it looked like spam. I didn’t recognize the sender, but then thought, I’ll just check, just in case. I’m glad I did, because it was an award from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. I completely forgot about the application, and needed to review my submission. I was thrilled that I had applied to purchase a guillotine, benches for the guillotine and the poco press as well as the complete set of rubber-based Pantone mixing inks. I look forward to putting a sign on the guillotine that reads: “This project has been supported by a grant from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, a Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.”
It took me a few months to find the right guillotine. I called my friend John Barrett at Letterpress Things to have him be on the lookout for one that had good safety features, was big but not too big, and that wasn’t electric. I wanted old-school guillotine.
Once it arrived at PRESS, I started cutting paper. Trimming a sixteenth of an inch off of a stack of 200 sheets just because I could. I squared up piles of paper, trimming hairs of first one side, than another and than another. I prepped paper for the prints for our upcoming exhibit in less than fifteen minutes. Not only were they perfectly square, each and everyone of them was the exact same size. Prior to the guillotine, I cut every piece of paper with a paper cutter–a decent one, but still, a long and arduous process when trimming hundreds of pieces of paper by hand. The guillotine will save time and will be a great thing to demonstrate to the different people who come to visit PRESS. Who doesn’t want to see paper cut like butter?
Notice the wonderful bench that supports it. Big thanks to my cousin, Tim Sedlock of Sedlock Carpentry for making that and the one for the Poco. They help with storage and boy do they look good. (You can follow him on Pinterest, too–he’s got some awesome inspirational shots there! And man does he do good work.)
Finally, the rubber based inks. They just arrived this week. Here I am opening up the boxes. It was like Christmas in June.
Why rubber-based inks? The three biggest reasons I will be using rubber versus soy or oil based inks are:
- They do not form a skim on the surface. When soy and oil based inks are exposed to air, they form a protective crust. You can prevent this with wax-paper sealers, but inevitably, especially in a shared space, air seeps in and then before you know it, you are tossing oodles of ink that has hardened.
- Rubber inks remain open longer. In a pinch, if you have to stop in the middle of a print run and not return until five, six or even ten hours later, everything will be fine. The inks will not harden on your rollers and still maintain their properties. Again, a great thing to have in a shared space.
- And because of the above two reasons, less waste!
Thank you again! Looking forward to showing off the goods at our new location! Hope to see you there.